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Denver’s finances in 2022 set to return to pre-pandemic levels

The COVID-19 pandemic is not over, but Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s proposed budget for 2022 indicates optimism about how the city is recovering from the health and economic crisis.

Hancock and his team predicted Wednesday that there will be $ 1.485 billion in general fund revenue to tap into in 2022. That’s 12% more than the $ 1.33 billion forecast for this year due to the pandemic. which weighs on a municipal income which depends heavily on the use taxes.

If projections hold for 2022, Denver will be on the same footing as in early 2020, when the Hancock administration projected $ 1.486 billion in revenue. The city ultimately ran out of $ 211 million, according to the finance department.

In his budget letter released Wednesday morning, Hancock put much of the recovery at the feet of the COVID-19 vaccines, noting that more than 70% of the city’s eligible residents have received the vaccines. He said that – and hundreds of millions of dollars in federal COVID aid – kept the city focused on the recovery.

“My 2022 budget is fiscally responsible, fair, invests in our neighborhoods, strengthens our local businesses and serves as the engine of our recovery,” Hancock wrote.

The 800-page budget will be the subject of city council hearings and amendments before a vote is finally called later this fall.